The robocalling problem is getting worse and worse. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission ordered telecom officials to do something about the problem that, according to a January 2019 report, exploded with 26.3 billion robocalls in the US. And even those responsible for the US mobile phone companies are apparently immune. At an event hosted by the Economic Club in Washington DC on Wednesday, AT & T's CEO Randall Stephenson was called in front of dozens of viewers, or seemed to be.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Stephenson had been partially complaining to DC bureaucrats AT & T's $ 85 billion ultra-merger with Time Warner (the fairer suspicion was more likely to be the result of Donald Trump's feud with the Time Warner). Daughter CNN).
In the following clip from C-SPAN Stephenson took a quick look at his Apple Watch and told the audience, "I also get a robocall … It's literally a robocall."
AT & T and its competitor Comcast just announced a partnership (supported by other industrial companies such as Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint) that aims to make the new call authentication technology using cryptographic protocols called SHAKEN (Signature Based Handling of Confirmed Information Using toKENs) and STIR (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited).
According to an AT & T statement, the system should make it harder for robocalls to fake phone numbers – a practice where the caller gets a telephone network to display a fake or fraudulent number on the receiving side. A similar system was introduced to T-Mobile to a limited extent at the beginning of the year, while Sprint will conduct its own tests in the second half of 2019. Senators John Thune and Ed Markey have also enacted a law (the TRACED Act) that requires voice service providers to "implement an appropriate and effective framework for authenticating calls in voice service providers' Internet Protocol networks."
In view of the uncanny timing, it makes sense to wonder if this was a publicity trick. On the other hand, it's kind of embarrassing because Stephenson is one of the companies that gets this problem out of control. Anecdotally I can tell you that there is no good time to get one of these things, and I have fallen asleep in the shower, in the subway, in the middle of other calls, in the movies and just getting started.